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Establishing Shots

My wife spends her time making movies and when we first met I can remember working with her to story-board a project. She was in film school at the time and was constantly talking about Establishing Shots, Medium Shots, and Close-ups. Before I knew it I was also referring to construction photos in this manner. Remember when you’re taking photos of an issue, specifically one that has cost associated with it, make sure to take an establishing shot, some medium shots, and of course some close ups to tell the whole story.

Here’s an example of what I mean. The above photos were related to a Pedimat issue I was involved with, you know those mats stuck in the ground at the entrance of a building. We made the mistake of not recessing the concrete deep enough, it was a pain in the ass, but nothing money couldn’t fix. There is nothing like Grinding out 1/2″ of concrete in the lobby of a finished building. Here are some photos that were taken during the grinding. We started with a 1.5″ deep recess and had to get to 2″. Next time you’re using construction photos to document something like this think about taking a few different shots to tell the whole story. And always make sure you recess your Pedimat enough if you know what I mean!

Project Setup Video

People often ask me how long does it take to set up a project in JobSiteVisitor. I used to tell people it takes about 15min, that number was a little high. It actually takes just 8mins to get started, as demonstrated in the following video. This is a good video to watch for anyone considering using JobSiteVisitor to help organize, manage, and share their construction photos.




Organizing Underground Photos

Organizing underground construction photos can be difficult for a number of different reasons. It’s hard to know exactly where photos are taken from because the camera is typically pointed down into a hole filled with electrical conduit or rebar.  The other day I ran across one of our newer projects that Rudolph and Sletten is building for San Diego City College. They’ve been doing an excellent job managing their underground photos, what they’ve done is upload their Site Plan, Site Electrical Plan, Site Plumbing Plan, Foundation Plan, Grading Plan, and Storm Water Prevention Plan (SWPP) to help keep everything organized. By managing photos this way, different plans can be used to organize and manage different types of photos. For example all the underground electrical photos are located on the electrical site plan and all the foundation photos get placed on the Foundation Plan.

Here’s a quick screen cast of showing how well it works.

Similar management techniques can be done for interior photos as well. For example you might want to think about uploading reflected ceiling plans to document above grid conditions. There are many ways to use our product and it’s great to see contractors like Rudolph & Sletten getting creative with their on site photo management.

Million Dollar Photo $$

Photograph by Gary Halby

Photograph by Gary Halby

This has been called a million dollar photo according to the New York Post Article “Photo op in crane case“. It was taken by Gary Halby just moments before this crane collapsed killing 7 people on Manhattan’s East Side in 2008. Gary was not at all involved with the project, he just happened to be walking down the street and liked the image of this crane against the blue sky. Little did he know that the rigging captured at the bottom of the photo would be the cause of a fatal accident. Prosecutors will now be using this image as they make their case against the crane rigger involved with the accident. The case is scheduled to start next week.

This is a tragic reminder for construction photographers to always photograph large equipment like cranes including their rigging equipment when you’re out taking your progress photos.

Here are some more photos of the accident from the New York Times.

WebCam TimeLapse

For the past week I’ve been installing a webcam in Golden, CO. This is my first attempt at a wireless/solar webcam installation. It’s been kicking my butt and also providing some great On the Job Training. I’ll post more details on the installation later, I’m still working through a few bugs. However before I get side tracked I wanted to talk about something that I realized while designing the webcam interface for JobSiteVisitor.com. The lighting and consistency of the time-lapse slide show would be much more uniform and less distracting to watch if the photos were all taken around the same time of day. This makes sense, right?

Previous construction time-lapses movies I’ve made consisted of images taken every 10-15 minutes through out the day. All these photos were then dropped onto a time line and speed-up like 500%. The effect was very cool however the changing daylight is very distracting. This video will show you what I mean.

So with JobSiteVisitor.com’s new webcam integration users will see real time webcam images but we’re only going to archive one photo from the same time each day. This will provide more consistent lighting for our time-lapse viewing. This integration will be available in the upper subscription package with-in the next week. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts on this added feature.

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